Namibia: Fishcor Struggles to Secure Jobs for Ex-SPP Workers

21 April 2021

Walvis Bay — The National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) has not been successful in finding permanent employment for the former employees of Seaflower Pelagic Processing (SPP).

This is according to the acting board chairperson of Fishcor Mihe Goamab.

Over 500 employees have been without proper jobs since last year after SPP had their horse mackerel quota withheld due to the ongoing Fishrot saga.

About 125 are still employed by SPP.

SPP, the horse mackerel processing plant, was established through a joint venture between Fishcor and African Selection Fishing (ASF) in 2017.

This agreement allows SPP to access at least 50 000 metric tons of horse mackerel until 2031 through Fishcor.

However, the company is unable to exploit its quota due to an ongoing dispute with government over the Fishcor partnership.

This resulted in the employees losing their jobs at SPP and subsequently being employed by Tunacor Fisheries on a temporary basis.

Gaomab yesterday told New Era the contract ended last month and they are struggling to find a suitable candidate to partner with.

"What I can say is that we have not been successful, thus far, to partner with a suitable company. Some submitted proposals that are not in our best interest and some did not submit at all," Gaomab said yesterday.

According to Gaomab, they are looking at a more permanent and stable agreement for the employees.

"Only a few horse mackerel companies have approached us so far. We are also approaching them with the employee sustenance, processing activity and operational capacity, as we don't want our workers to receive salaries while at home. We are busy evaluating them in that context," Gaomab said yesterday.

He indicated that they are hoping to conclude the process this week.

Expressing frustration at being unemployed, one 0f the SPP employees said: "We will definitely not get salaries this month. At least Tunacor was paying us N$3 000 for the past three months but now we are back to square one," one of the employees told New Era.

She said it is hard to feed their families, especially when their job prospects are bleak.

"We are really appealing to government and Fishcor to see if they can reach an agreement so that we can get our jobs back at SPP," she said.

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